DuBOIS — The DuBois girls basketball team knew it faced an uphill battle against Hollidaysburg in its District 6/8/9/ 5A semifinal game Tuesday night, a task made even harder when junior Chelsea DeSalve was lost to a non-basketball related injury over the weekend.
However, the Lady Beavers responded to that adversity with a gutsy performance in a 39-24 loss to a Lady Tiger squad that beat a full-strength DuBois by 31 points (55-24) back in mid-December.
Tuesday was a completely different style game that saw DuBois battle down to the very end. DuBois trimmed a 17-point Hollidaysburg lead early in the fourth down to 11 (35-24) with 1:29 to play, but the Lady Tigers went 4 of at the foul line in the final 1:08 to seal the victory.
As they have most of the year, free throws hampered DuBois as it went just 8 of 20 at the line. DeSalve’s absence also was felt as DuBois committed 28 turnovers and struggled to get the ball inside to senior center Ashley Hallowell.
“We did everything we wanted to do,” said DuBois coach Keith Kriner. “We took away their fast breaks, we took away their dribble penetration. Then they killed us with the 3-ball, and we don’t know how to make a foul shot. The turnovers obviously hurt too.
“Their coach came up to me afterwards and said if 21 (DeSalve) would have played you win. She was sincere about it, but I don’t know if that would happened or not. Chlesea certainly would have helped us though.”
The first quarter was a ragged one on both sides with DuBois trailing just 10-5 after eight minutes despite turning the ball over 11 times to Hollidaysburg’s one in the quarter. DuBois made just one basket in the quarter, which Hallowell scored with 34 seconds left in the period.
Hollidaysburg (8-15) took control of the game in the second quarter, with Theresa Gildea hitting two 3-pointers in the opening three minutes. Gildea scored a game-high 18. The Lady Tigers outscored DuBois 11-3 in the quarter to take a 21-8 advantage into the break.
DuBois came out looking like a different team in the second quarter, with Maddie Smith and Caitlin Drahushak each scoring in the first 1:19 to match the teams’ basket total from the first half.
Drahushak enjoyed a strong second half, scoring 11 of her team-high 13 points after the break in her final game. Hallowell scored just four points but pulled down 12 rebounds in her last game.
The teams played an even second half, with the Lady Tigers outscoring the Lady Beavers, 12-10, but Hollidaysburg’s second-quarter surge proved to be the difference.
The loss ended the program’s best season in 28 years. DuBois finished with a 15-8 mark, the most wins since the 1989-90 squad went 20-5 under coach Pam Murdock.
Hollidaysburg moves on to play Obama Academy Saturday for the title.